The Liberal Democrat candidate for North Cornwall has today challenged the local Conservative candidate to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020. The challenge, just a few days before polling day, follows Boris Johnson’s refusal to rule out a no-deal exit from the EU.
Under the Conservative Party’s plan, the UK will have until December 2020 to deliver the second phase of negotiating a Free Trade Agreement with the EU. However, the plans also say Boris Johnson will not seek any extension despite overwhelming evidence showing that time-frame is near impossible.
This means that the Tories are signing up to crash the UK out of the EU without a deal, the Liberal Democrats claim.
This is why Danny Chambers has today written to Scott Mann, the Conservative candidate for North Cornwall, to ask them to rule out a no-deal Brexit in December 2020 which would cause severe economic damage and put jobs at risk in Cornwall.
Commenting on the letter, Danny Chambers, Liberal Democrat candidate for North Cornwall, said: “It is clear that the Conservatives are now effectively the party of Nigel Farage and Donald Trump. They are content to see the UK crash out of the EU without a deal.
“Boris Johnson’s Brexit plan is already a disaster for people in Cornwall, but he has now made things even worse by putting the UK on a collision course with a no-deal Brexit in December 2020.
“The National Farmers’ Union has described a no-deal Brexit as ‘catastrophic’ for British farming.
“The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons has called on the government to reject a no-deal Brexit because it would not be possible to maintain current animal welfare and public health standards.
“The British Medical Association has warned that a no deal Brexit could have could have ‘potentially catastrophic consequences for patients, the health workforce, services and the nation’s health’.”
“People in North Cornwall have a right to know whether Scott Mann supports the reckless and dangerous plan Boris Johnson is proposing. That is why I have written to Scott to urge him to rule out supporting any deal that risks a no deal cliff edge in December 2020.
Dear Mr Mann,
I am writing to you today to ask if you will rule out a damaging no-deal Brexit in December 2020 which would be disastrous for our local community.
The Brexit plan that your Party has proposed would require the completion of a Free Trade Agreement before the end of 2020 unless the UK asks for an extension. It is clear from your manifesto that the Tories will not seek an extension of the transition period in December 2020, despite overwhelming evidence from trade experts showing that it will be nearly impossible to secure a deal in that time-frame.
By signing up to such an arbitrary, unrealistic deadline, you are personally setting up the UK to crash out of the EU without a deal at the end of next year.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies has predicted that the UK crashing out of the EU would mean a £231 billion hit to our public finances over the next five years, equivalent to £8,000 a household. It also means another year of uncertainty for businesses in North Cornwall, costing jobs and prosperity in our area.
The National Farmers’ Union, the British Medical Association, the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons, and the Bank of England have all warned of the dire consequences of leaving the EU without a deal.
You have said you are prepared to sign up to Boris Johnson’s deal, despite his decision to abandon legal commitments to maintain alignment with EU regulation protecting the environment and workers' rights, and the significant additional burdens it places on businesses trading with the EU. However, given the commitments in your manifesto not to extend the negotiation deadline, it now appears you are also content to see the UK crash out of the EU without a deal. You and I both know that this is unacceptable.
So, I am asking you today to unequivocally reject a no-deal Brexit, and to commit to not voting for any plan that would allow the continued risk of such severe economic damage to North Cornwall.
The people of North Cornwall deserve better.